“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

Did you play the “I spy with my little eye” game when you were a child? I was amazed that when you choose a color, suddenly all of the things of that color stand out.  It’s like putting on a different pair of glasses!

Even along the most difficult roads in life, God places gifts we fail to see. Often, gifts come in the form of encouragement or seeing the silver lining around the blackest clouds. Through our experiences, God brings messages of hope, strength and wisdom.

God often wraps the best gifts in life’s most difficult challenges. I love an analogy author Sheila Walsh shares. Standing on the shore of Scotland after a storm, she surveyed the beach. The tide had washed up all kinds of debris onto the shore. She drew a comparison to how we often experience life’s storms. Many things surface: unforgiveness, anger, unresolved issues, past shame. At first, these don’t seem like gifts, but it’s when things surface that they can be processed and healed – we can come through richer, more at peace with ourselves, “gifted!”

In the midst of hard things, gifts help us sift through and discover what is important in life. They provide opportunity to reflect on and change our values. We can embrace gratefulness for the things we normally take for granted. Difficulties can help us re-prioritize relationships, and come to a deeper understanding of other people’s pain.

Thank you LORD that You are always at work in the storms of life. You do not leave us or forsake us – it is a promise. Open the eyes of our hearts to see how You are working, offering gifts along the way in our journey. Grant to us a willing spirit and a thankful heart. Help us learn and grow and come through reflecting more of Jesus. Show us your salvation. Amen.

Take Action

Spend a few moments in quiet reflection to put on a different pair of glasses. Talk to God about what is most difficult in your life these days. Ask for insight to see the gifts He is offering you. Then begin to thank the LORD for what He shows you. Share your insights with someone close to you who may be going through a storm and and may need your encouragement.

Tags: gift suffering